Skin of the Night

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Chapter 13: Have We Met?

For a moment, all I saw was his naked body, both atop and within me, as he pleasured me into the celestial. I could barely believe my eyes.

Bloody hell.

How had I not connected the dots? This was why I’d thought he’d looked so familiar back then; he was Jason’s elder brother! Jason had even mentioned him several times, but not in my wildest dreams would I have thought him to be one and the same.

Paling where I stood, I recoiled a step, struck by the overwhelming power of his presence. By now, I had managed to tuck my adventure with him into the depths of my mind. These days, I hardly ever paid him a thought, because I hadn’t thought I’d ever see him again. Yet, here he was, in the flesh, regarding me as though he’d just been punched in the gut. The chances of this happening were astronomical, and it made me question my own convictions. Did a thing like ‘coincidences’ truly exist, or was everything written in the stars? If so, what tales did they hold of my future? And why on earth had they included him?

I was still trying to comprehend the truth of my circumstance when John started speaking, “Will, this is Miss Cara Jane Darby, the new intern you’ll be in charge of. She’s also Jason’s flatmate, so be good to her. I’ve spoken highly of you, and I wouldn’t like to be disproved.”

Paralysed, William continued to stare at me. I didn’t blame him for struggling so hard to compose himself. Not only had I arrived like lightening from a clear blue sky, I was also being introduced under an entirely different name. However, when John cleared his throat, seemingly puzzled by his son’s behaviour, William charged up from his seat.

Marvelling in the beauteous view of him, I blinked twice over when he made his graceful approach around his desk. For the life of me, I couldn’t locate my lungs or my tongue, and so out of breath, I watched him draw nearer. Only he could hypnotise me like this. I simply could not look away.

“It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Miss Darby. I’m William, but you may call me Will, like everyone else. I’m looking forward to working with you. I hear your grades are impeccable. I’ll personally ensure that you’ll get to put theory into practice during your time with us,” he said and extended his large hand to me.

The same moment his voice addressed me, it dawned on me that I had actually missed it. Deep, authoritative, and oddly soothing, it whispered of sensual pleasures. How strange it was, to find myself having missed a person I’d only encountered once before.

A crimson blush painted my cheeks as I directed my gaze to his awaiting hand. Staring at it, I remembered how it had completely dominated me in the past. A particular memory, of when he’d used his grip of my wrists to balance the weight of his powerful thrusts, flashed through my mind.

This was outrageous. What was I supposed to make of this? I couldn’t work here, under the leadership of a man who had fucked me into oblivion. How was I supposed to look him in the eye without being reminded of that? How were we going to take each other seriously, as professionals, when our current acquaintanceship was composed of carnal inclinations? Would we be able to overlook it? Start anew?

I found I wanted to cry. This was the worst possible thing that could have happened. I’d worked so hard to prove myself eligible for this internship, and now I’d – quite literally –fucked my chance at it.

‘Murphy’s law’, Dad’s voice chimed in my head. ‘Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. In other words, whatever can happen, will happen’. Well, I was currently witnessing evidence of that theory. Lesson learned, Dad, albeit too late.

“Y-yeah,” I stammered and, while breaking contact with his striking eyes, grabbed his familiar hand. His grip was firm around my own, as if he didn’t want to let go.

“Well, I’ll leave you to it, then,” John said before a sigh. “I have a meeting in less than two minutes which I have to attend. If there’s anything I can help you with, Cara, do let me know, but I expect my son will take good care of you.”

“Of course,” William assured him, and there was a gleam in his eye when he finally released my hand.

After offering my shoulder a supportive squeeze, John turned for the door and closed it after him. The sound made me jump.

“Well, then, Cara,” William said, emphasising my real name, and strode away from me to find a seat on his black and matte desk, made of stone. After folding his hands together above the crotch of his light grey trousers, he resorted to studying me with a crooked smile on his face.

“Have we met?” he asked, and successfully knocked the wind out of me. The bastard was using my own words against me. How dare he toss that line at me at a time like this?

“I’m quite sure we have,” he continued and narrowed his eyes at me. “I could have sworn I’ve seen you someplace before. Have you been on telly? In newspapers?” Not a hint of sympathy was present in his piercingly blue eyes. Lost for words, I couldn’t dodge even an ounce of his wrath, so instead, I merely gaped at him.

“Right, it’s coming back to me now,” he said while nodding to himself. “I know where I’ve seen you. It was in my bed, wasn’t it? While I fucked you senseless? Yes, I believe so. Now that I think about it, how could I forget? Must have been your lies that has got me all confused.”

I reeled in a sharp breath and looked away from him, overwhelmed. Stringing together a single coherent thought proved impossible. I had never been this shocked.

“Please, have a seat,” he said and gestured toward one of the two black chairs in front of his desk. As I looked toward them, I noted that his office was rather big. Against the wall to my right stood a black leather sofa, kept company by a coffee table made of transparent glass. Behind him, London city revealed itself.

I remained in the same place, incapable of ministering any muscle of my body. Seemingly impatient with my reaction, he leaned backward to fetch a sheet of paper from his desk.

“I’ve written a list of tasks you’ll have to get affiliated with. After we’ve gone through them, I gather you’ll want to sign a contract to establish your temporary role here.”

My eyes darted toward him again. His composure bewildered me. Was he feigning nonchalance? Of course he was. We both knew what we’d done to each other, naked and lusting.

I swallowed a huge lump in my throat. It was perfectly possible that it had been my heart. However, since it was currently thundering like a bloody orchestra within my chest, perhaps not.

“I...” Looking away from him, I moved my purse onto my left shoulder.

“You?” he prompted, audibly amused.

“This is... I’m sorry, I’m just...”

“Shocked?” he filled in the blanks for me. Since I still couldn’t bring myself to look at him, I only nodded. Honestly, the mere sight of him was unbearable.

“Cara, take a seat,” he ordered and reminded me of his domineering character in the same go. Obeying, because I didn’t know what else to do, I approached the chair that stood farthest away from him. As I went, I sensed him watch me with circumspection.

I was about to have a seat when he slid off his desk to descend into the chair beside mine. Freezing, I met his eyes and watched him recline into it. From it, he smirked up at me and gestured toward my chair again, leaving me to mentally curse his confidence.

After I’d slowly found my seat, he turned his chair toward me and queried, somewhat bitter in his tone, “Is it Cara? Or do you prefer going by Sandra?”

I pursed my lips. “I didn’t think I’d be seeing you again.”

“I realise that, and yet, here we are.”

I grimaced and inwardly begged for my heart to calm down. From the speed of its beats, I must be shortening down my lifespan. “I don’t quite think that this is a good idea.”

He was quiet for a brief second. “What? Your internship?”

I nodded.

He scoffed. “Don’t be ridiculous, Cara. It’s a bit late to start applying for a programme elsewhere. I can guarantee you won’t get it. The competition is intense. This is not an opportunity you should cast aside merely because you’ve coincidentally fucked your boss.”

My breath hitched at his blunt phrasing. I had nearly forgotten about his vulgar tongue by now, but not quite. Beside him, I blushed blood red.

He leaned forward, toward me, and it perturbed me. The tension between us was thick and dense in the air, and it made me feel like I was suffocating. Having him so close wreaked havoc across my emotions. Suddenly, I made no sense to myself. All I knew was that I wished he would back away so that I might be able to think clearly.

His eyes zoomed in on my blank facial expression. “I seem to recall you possessing a dreadfully sharp mouth. Have you lost your bravado since last?”

“Are you at all able to be quiet for longer than a second? I need to think!” I snapped at him, because I was growing increasingly annoyed with his scrutiny. I was trapped in a clusterfuck of a situation, and he wasn’t allowing me any mental room to sort it out.

“I honestly can’t believe you’re Jason’s flatmate. All along, you’ve been within my reach. I’m furious at that. Had I known, I would have hunted you down,” he declared momentously.

Horribly uncomfortable, I tensed in my seat. At the very best, this was wildly inappropriate. If he was still adamant to get me into beds with him, things were going to end in chaos.

He sighed and tossed the sheet of paper onto his desk. “When Dad told me whom he’d hired for the position, he mentioned a girl named Cara, studying law. No Sandra, studying medicine. At least I’ve got your number, now.”

“What do you want me to say?!” I retorted defensively.

“I’d like an apology, for starters,” he calmly responded.

“Well, I’m sorry, William. It wasn’t personal.”

He nodded. “Thank you.”

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